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AFM Newsflash_Friday_2 June_2023
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1. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE YOUTH IN SOCIETY
Although South Africa is fortunate to have a youthful nation, the recent unemployment statistics – especially relating to young people, are a cause for concern. The 2023 calculations of the World Bank, rate South Africa as the country with the highest unemployment in the world, followed by Djibouti and Equatorial Guinea. The youth unemployment rate in South Africa, averaged 55.71% from 2013 until 2023, reaching an all-time high of 66.50% in the third quarter of 2021.
According to Statistics South Africa (May 2023), of the 40 million working-age population in the first quarter of 2022, more than half (51,6%) were youth between the ages of 15-34 years.
This proves that our young people are in a precarious position and need our attention, assistance, care and prayer. Recognising the voices of young people and really listening to them, is vital for a flourishing society. The fact that young people are a major human resource for development, economic growth and technological innovation, as well as key agents for influence and social change, has long been recognized. The youth is a vital part and backbone of our nation’s future.
All the above underlines the importance of empowering the youth to play their role in taking our society forward. The foundation, contents, and agenda of the empowerment and also of those who empower, will determine the direction our youth and by implication, our society will take in the future. How and by whom our youth is empowered, is of vital importance.
In this regard, Proverbs 22:6 (NLT) says: “Direct your children onto the right path and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
As much as we must listen to our young people and provide them with opportunities, grace and space to grow, we must be involved in guiding, nurturing and mentoring them. We have a role to play in ensuring that our young people become well-skilled, productive, healthy and fully engaged members of society, who can lead with godliness, integrity and resilience.
I encourage the young people of the AFM with the following verses:
The Lord said to Jeremiah: “Don’t say ‘I am too young’, for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you.” Jeremiah 1:7-8 (NLT)
In 1 Tim. 4: 12 Paul said to Timothy:
“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity.”
Let us support our AFM of SA National Youth as they are embarking on 21 days of prayer from 3-23 June 2023. Enable and assist as many as possible of our young people who want to attend the “Re-activate” National Youth Conference from 23-25 June 2023 at the Ngoako Ramatlhodi Indoor Sports Complex, in Polokwane (Limpopo).
2. CHILD PROTECTION WEEK
As a Church, it is essential for us to be part of Child Protection Week in our country. This year it is scheduled to run from Sunday, 28 May to Sunday 4 June. We care deeply about the well-being of all our people, including our children.
With the assistance and support of AFM Welfare and our AFM of SA National Departments, 7 Podcasts will be available by the end of the week. In these Podcasts, we explore the role that the Church can play in Child Protection. This was the first year that we are sharing the Church’s point of view on this matter and will continue doing so in the future. These Podcasts will be shared on all our social media platforms – including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
3. AFM OF SA NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Kindly expect more information soon on the upcoming AFM of SA National Conference. Save the following dates:
Dates: 7-9 September 2023
Venue: Lighthouse Christian Centre (Cape Town)